A lot of music sucks.
I mean, it can get really bad.
A typical song might have a semi-hummable melody but no rhythm, or a great rhythm section with a trite melody.
And even when you hear a great melody on top of a great beat with a semi-decent chord progression, you still feel like something’s missing.
Music production is a about putting all those musical pieces together. When everything is pieced together perfectly, the end result is spectacular.
I like classifying a song into four distinct parts. You could deconstruct songs endlessly but I feel like these four elements of music production work well when analyzing a song.
Here are my four elements of music production:
Every song needs a foundation. Any production needs a solid drum beat or a rhythmic pattern to keep it grooving.
Wait, but I like a ton of songs that don’t have any drums?
Exactly, but they usually have something that supplies a steady beat to keep the song going.
For instance, John Mayer’s “Heart of Life” doesn’t have any drums.
But listen more closely to the rhythm guitar part and you hear how he makes the beat by slapping his hand on the guitar.
So you’re right. A beat doesn’t need drums, it just needs something to supply the rhythm.
Here you’ll find the harmonic content of the song. The chord progressions, guitar riffs or other important instrumental parts.
These riffs supply the harmonic foundation to the melody. Just like the beat supplies the rhythmical foundation of the song, the chord progressions or riffs shape the tonal structure of the whole song.
It’s often the presentation of the chord progression that makes a song different.
John Mayer’s “Heart of Life” is a simple song, with a simple chord progression. While many other songs have the same chord progression, it’s the presentation and the special way he plays those chords that makes it unique.
Of course, the melody is what makes the song. Strip away everything else while keeping the melody and you can still recognize the song.
Melody is the most important part of ANY song. – Click to Tweet!
A simple song with a killer melody that gets stuck in your head is more likely to succeed than a killer production with a monotonic melody.
There’s always that one part of a great song.
The part where you shush your friends and say,
“Listen to this awesome part!”
That’s the part where all of those things come together. A tight rhythm, a great chord progression, an amazing melody and that little sweet something that takes it all the way.
The fills, breaks and solos are the production elements that add interest to the song. These are the guitar solos, string parts or backup vocals.
It’s the sugar on top of a great song.
How To Achieve This Level of Music Production?
You have to start at the beginning. You need to take all of your unfinished songs and find out what to add to make a great production. Even if you know exactly how you want to produce a song, you still have to record, mix and master it.
That’s where Joe Gilder’s Production Club comes in.
He’s opening up the doors again. Not everybody got in last time since the seats were limited.
This time, things are different.
His club will remain open to anyone wanting to get their hands on his absolute best material.
Learn how to produce your song from fleshing out your ideas during pre-production to making it sound as good as it can be with mastering.
Find out how to produce your songs to be more than just vague ideas in your head.
If you buy the Production Club from this site, using my link here(Production Club 2.0) then I will throw in a FREE copy of both Recording & Mixing Strategies. That’s a $47 value right there you get for free! The only thing you need to do is forward me your receipt to bjorgvin[at]audio-issues.com and I’ll send you your free Strategies bundle.
Image by: Sergiu Bacioiu